Drinking Mindfully

Now that Dry July is nearly over, if you have been doing it, work at getting the best out of what you drink.

Forget cost, I always say there are only two wines in the world – the wine YOU like and the wine you DON’T like. The rest doesn’t matter. But it’s a good idea to figure out why you like what you do so that you are not disappointed and can buy with confidence, knowing you are not wasting your money.

So, if you’ve found a wine you like, drink it mindfully so that you remember it – or the style or the region, so that next time, if you can’t find that particular wine you can find something similar.
Tasting wine is taking time to think about what your senses tell you about whatever you are about to eat or drink. Most taste is actually smell. But look at the bottle, read the back label as it may give you some clues too.

What you see should be what you smell and what you taste. Only fill your glass to its widest part so that you have space to swirl it around. So look at the colour of the wine and its clarity. Age makes both white and red wines darker. Give it a swirl and put your nose in – does it remind you of anything? Do you like it? Now the fun bit.

What does it taste of? Something familiar like melon, berry or pepper? Does it taste smoky, or of oak? How heavy is it? Light and fresh maybe or perhaps luscious or robust? Is it ripe and sweet, has it a cleansing acid or tannic “grip” down the side of the tongue? Most importantly, does it make you smile or does it make you shudder? Smiling is good.

So hopefully you will remember the wine whether you liked it or not and that opinion will guide you next time.

More information in Balance. Matching Food & wine. What Works and Why. By Lyndey Milan and Colin Corney.